Thursday, October 17, 2019

HEALTHIER YOU: Can you protect against birth defects?

January 27, 2019 by  
Filed under Health

Can you protect against birth defects?

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYE

Happy New Year! There is something to be said about getting the blessed news that you are expecting a bundle of joy. But even as we celebrate, it is important to be aware of birth defects and how they can be possibly prevented. January is Birth Defect Prevention Month, and empowering yourself with information about birth wellness is the best shield against birth defects and disorders.

A birth defect is a problem that occurs when a baby is developing in utero. Approximately 1 out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect, and they can be minor or severe. They may affect appearance, organ function, and physical and mental development. Severe birth defects are leading cause of infant death in the United States, and most birth defects are present within the first three months of pregnancy, when the organs are still forming.

Some birth defects are harmless. Others require long-term medical treatment. There are certain things that can cause birth defects, including genetics, lifestyle choices and behaviors, exposure to certain medications and chemicals, infections during pregnancy, and a combination of these factors. However, the exact causes of many birth defects are often unknown.

For prospective parents, the number one question is, “How can birth defects be prevented?” Many birth defects can’t be prevented, but there ways for women to lower the risk: taking folic acid supplements before conception; avoiding alcohol, drugs, and tobacco; avoiding certain medications (after speaking with your doctor); avoiding live-virus vaccines (after speaking with your doctor); maintaining a healthy weight; and attending regular prenatal doctor appointments.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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